Milton 's Anomie Strain Theory Essays

3466 Words Nov 23rd, 2016 14 Pages
Robert Milton’s Anomie Strain Theory is centered in the belief that society has a dominant and accepted set of norms/values and goals and those values direct us in the acceptable avenue of achieving said goals. Milton adapted his theory from Durkheim, who theorized that strain was due to a breakdown of society’s inability to control the goals and aspirations. Milton’s tweak on Durkheim states that social strain is created when the gap between socially approved goals and one’s ability and/or means to achieve set goals is present, not societies inability to control goals and aspirations. Success is measured when individuals achieve socially approved goals, and primarily measured by a person’s job/title, education, house, income, social status and other material means. With the ideological belief in the “American Dream”, and that if one works hard enough, is persistent, and values education then they are capable of achieving success. When social strain adversely impacts an individual’s ability to achieve the “Dream”, Milton suggests they act in one of three ways. Retreating entails a sense of hopelessness or unworthiness and individuals accept their failure in achieving societal goals, often retreating into drugs and alcohol. They rebel, and reject societal norms/values and acceptable ways to achieve them and create their own society (ie. gangs). Lastly, they accept the societal goals, but find innovative ways of achieving those goals. Sex-trafficking and exploitation are…

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